Thursday, 3 May 2018

Magical Unicorn Birthday Card

Magical Unicorn Birthday Card
My daughter is going through a mythical creature phase and I am going through an embossing phase, so I had so much fun creating this birthday card with her in mind this week!

I love this cute little unicorn stamp and I've been using it a lot lately. It's part of a stamp set by Stampin' Up! called Magical Day, and it's a really fun one that's great for kids. Since it's a line art style stamp, I made my daughter a quick little colouring page with it and the other creatures from the set so she could "craft" with me. It was fun to craft together and she had a great time colouring the dragons, mermaids, wizards and unicorns with some watercolour paints while I worked on parts of the card.

I have to say, I really don't think this photo does the card justice. Trust me, it's stunning in person! The unicorn and the sentiment are embossed with silver embossing powder, and the unicorn, the label behind the sentiment and the edges of the card stock are all beautifully shimmery.

Here's how I created this fun card, in case you'd like to try something similar yourself:

For the cardstock, you'll need a standard white card base (8 1/2" by 5 1/2" scored at 4 1/4"), a piece of 5 1/4" by 4" cardstock to layer on top, plus a few extra scraps. I used a punch called the Pretty Label punch because it looked a bit cloud-like to me, but you could certainly substitute a different shape or emboss the sentiment directly on the card if you wanted.

To create the clouds in the sky, I had to get a bit creative. I didn't have any cloud dies or stencils, so I actually punched out a bunch of the labels (including some at slightly wonky angles for variety) and adhered them all to a piece of thick cardstock. I used this to mask off the clouds and then sponged ink onto the cardstock layer to create the sky.

The trick to sponging the clouds seems to be to take your time and build up the ink slowly. If you try to put too much on at once, you risk getting a dark line or splotch that you won't be able to hide, but this doesn't seem to happen as much if you layer the ink on gradually. When you feel like you've defined one cloud enough, just move your stencil piece down and repeat. By using different parts of my DIY stencil and holding it at different angles while I sponged around it, I was able to make my own sky full of billowing clouds and I was pretty pleased with the result.

For the unicorn, I stamped the image onto some scrap white cardstock with Versamark ink. If you've never used or heard of it, Versamark is a clear, sticky ink. You can use it on coloured cardstock to create a tone-on-tone or watermark effect, but it's also great for heat embossing. Because it dries more slowly than other inks, it gives you time to get the embossing powder onto your image. I chose to use silver embossing powder for both the unicorn and the sentiment on this card, and let me tell you, if you've never tried embossing, it's magic. No seriously, it's so much fun! I love watching the powder melt and suddenly turn quicksilver, and the end result is always impressive. People who have never embossed will not believe you made it yourself!

I punched out the sentiment and another of the exact same label to use as a matte behind it. To get a larger matte out of the same size punch, I snipped it in half and adhered the two pieces slightly offset. I coloured the unicorn's mane and tail with alcohol markers. I actually cut out this unicorn by hand just to test if it was possible, but thank goodness this stamp set has corresponding dies! I plan to make a few more of this card, and next time I'm just going to use the die. Getting into all the little curves of the mane and the legs was painful.

I wanted this card to be magical and shimmery and a bit over the top, so I used my Wink of Stella pen to add a subtle shine to the unicorn, the matte label layer and the edges of the card base. The Wink of Stella has a lovely brush tip, is really nice to work with, and I think it really added something to the card.

And best of all, my daughter loved it! I'll definitely be making a few more of this card to share and give away.

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